Year of the Monkey, Bhutan, 2016, 1oz, .999

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The Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan proudly issues the inaugural Blessings of Happiness Lunar Coin Collection – The Bhutan Lunar and Attraction series (2016-2027), exclusively minted and marketed by The Singapore Mint.

Home to a stunning natural scenery embellished with majestic architectures of Dzongz, Stupas and Monasteries, each of the 12 coins in this series features specially selected attractions of Bhutan, The obverse side of each coin features an animal of the Chinese Zodiac Series, while the reverse side features one of the 12 selected attractions located in the country of Bhutan. The Bhutan Lunar Monkey coin, the very first in this series, is issued in conjunction with the arrival of the 2016 Lunar Monkey Year.

ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF BHUTAN
The Kingdom of Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia, and the origin of the term ‘Gross National Happiness’, is coined by His Majesty, Jigme Singye Wangchuck the 4th King of Bhutan. The philosophy of Gross National Happiness focuses on peace and happiness of the Bhutanese – balancing material and the spiritual development. The Bhutanese happiness and peace comes from their practice in Buddhism, which believes in living a good life to be closer to attaining enlightenment – They do good deeds, and do not believe in harming any sentient beings so much that there is no killing of animals, no fishing nor butchering, but instead meat is imported. The Bhutanese believe that all living beings are equally valuable life forms and they integrate these deep-seated convictions on the sacredness of life within the country’s broader environmental and conservation ethics. This results in a peaceful, blissful way of living, accompanied by the country’s ethereal beauty. Not only known as one of the happiest country, the Kingdom of Bhutan is also popularly known as the Last Shangri-La of the world. The Kingdom of Bhutan is heavily forested and perched atop of a mountain among the clouds. Home to a stunning natural scenery with an exotic mix of flora and fauna, the Kingdom is also embellished with majestic architectures of Dzongz, Stupas and Monasteries, resulting in a picturesque view from every angle.

Obverse Design
The obverse design of the coin is a combination of both traditional and modern art styles – echoing Bhutan’s current modernization policy, where they strike a balance between modernization and staying true to their traditions and roots. Using bold patterns and elements of floral, leaves and
clouds to design the inquisitive monkey, the mystical qualities of the Kingdom is tastefully reflected. In addition, the limbs of the monkey are accentuated with swirl patterns, to exude vigor and spirit of the inquisitive monkey. Holding a heavenly peach, which symbolizes longevity and abundance, the monkey sits within an auspicious ‘Ruyi’ cloud motif.

Reverse Design : Punakha Dzong – The Palace of Great Bliss
The reverse design features the Punthang Dechen Phodrang (The Palace of Great Bliss) also known as the Punakha Dzong. Built in 1637, it is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. Punakha Dzong is not only well-known for its majestic architecture, but also for its historical and cultural significance. Punakha Dzong is also host to the royal wedding of His Majesty, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, filling this magnificent Dzong with love and blessing. The picturesque image of the Punakha Dzong sits within the artistic motifs of cloud swirls. The clouds surrounding the landmark further highlight Bhutan as the Kingdom in the clouds, the last Shangri-la of the world.

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